Sign in  |  Register

The New Criterion

America’s leading review of the arts and intellectual life
- Harry Mount, the London Telegraph


October 1996

A dearth of feeling

by Anne Applebaum

The second in a series on “The future of the European past,”

Venice has the Piazza San Marco, Paris has the Eiffel Tower, and now Prague has the Charles Bridge: wide and pedestrianized, blackened with age—and suffused with the spirit of capitalism. There are buskers and hustlers along the bridge, and, every fifteen feet or so, someone is selling very much what one would expect to find for sale in such a postcard-perfect spot. Paintings of appropriately pretty streets are on display, along with bargain jewelry, and “Prague” key chains. Soviet military paraphernalia is for sale, too: caps, badges, belt buckles, and little pins, tin Lenin and Brezhnev images of the sort which Soviet school children and Soviet veterans once wore on their respective uniforms.

It is a familiar sight now, but still an odd one. After all, most of the people buying these things are Americans and West Europeans, people who would be sickened by the thought of wearing a swastika. They see nothi ...

This article is available to subscribers and for individual purchase

Subscribe to TNC (Print and Online editions)

Subscribe to TNC (Online only)

Purchase article credit and clip this article

If you already have an account login first

Anne Applebaum's most recent book, Gulag: A History, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2004.

more from this author

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 15 October 1996, on page 5

Copyright © 2014 The New Criterion |

E-mail to friend

The New Criterion

By the author

When in Romania

by Anne Applebaum

A review of Journal: 1935-1944 by Mihail Sebastian, translated by Radu Ioanid.

Against the old clichés,

by Anne Applebaum

Review of Europe: A History by Norman Davies

The case of “Res Publica”

by Anne Applebaum

On Poland’s leading intellectual magazine.

You might also enjoy

The second assassin

by Edward Jay Epstein

Was JFK killed because America planned to assassinate Castro?

Team players

by Denis Donoghue

On Shakespeare's collaborations with other writers

All in the family

by Bruce Bawer

On the life and work of Marianne Moore

Most popular

view more >

Subscribe to our newsletter!

* indicates required


Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
Roger Kimball introduces The Kennedy Phenomenon, a conference presented by The New Criterion on Tuesday, November 19.

The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"
Roger Kimball reads Peter Collier’s paper on oft-overlooked unsavory details of the Kennedys' lives. Much of the paper is drawn from Collier’s book, coauthored with David Horowitz, The Kennedys: An American Drama.

The Kennedy Phenomenon: "The Many Misjudgments of Richard Hofstadter"
Fred Siegel discusses his new book The Revolt against the Masses and the myriad oversights of the historian Richard Hofstadter.